Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/248

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Fox
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deal of curiosity to see how he would fare in proposing his health; but happily the love of Homer, which was a common possession of host and guest, saved the situation. A quotation from the 'Iliad' (xvi. 550) did justice to the great orator's fighting powers, and won from Gladstone a hearty recognition of the lord mayor 'as a frank, bold, and courageous opponent in the House of Commons.'

In July 1885, during the short administration of Lord Salisbury, Fowler was created a baronet. Many years before this (in 1862) he had removed from Tottenham to Gastard, near Corsham in Wiltshire, an old property of his family, and there the rest of his life was spent, except for the periods of residence in London which were necessitated by his attendance in parliament, and for many long journeys to the Cape of Good Hope, to India, Japan, and the United States, which were the favourite pastime of his later years. He was a keen huntsman, but practised no other form of sport.

Both with reference to the traffic in opium and the protection of the aboriginal races, he was a warm advocate of the philanthropic side of the question, and here he sometimes found himself in opposition to the officials of his own party a severe trial to one so strongly imbued as he was with the ideas of party loyalty.

At the age of thirty-three he relinquished his connection with the Society of Friends, and was baptised into the church of England. He belonged to the evangelical school and was throughout his life a man of strong and deep religious feeling. Both during his mayoralty and in after years he often preached at the theatre services which were commenced at the instance of Lord Shaftesbury for the working men of London.

Fowler died of pneumonia at his London house in Harley Street on 22 May 1891. He was buried in the churchyard of Corsham. A portrait by Frank Holl and a marble bust are at Gastard; another portrait hangs in the Guildhall, London. He married, in October 1852, Charlotte Fox of Falmouth, a first cousin of Caroline Fox [q. v.] Mrs. Fowler died in December 1876, having been the mother of eleven children, of whom one died in childhood. The only son, Thomas, succeeded his father in the baronetcy.

Fowler's only contribution to literature was 'A Visit to China, Japan, and India,' published in 1877.

[Private information.]

T. H-n.


FOX, Sir WILLIAM (1812–1893), prime minister, colonial secretary, and native minister of New Zealand, born at Westoe, Durham, in 1812, was the son of George Townshend Fox, deputy-lieutenant of Durham county. He was admitted commoner of Wadham College, Oxford, on 28 April 1828, graduated B.A. on 23 Feb. 1832, and M. A. on 6 June 1839. He was called to the bar from the Inner Temple on 29 April 1842, and in the same year he emigrated to New Zealand. There in 1843 the New Zealand Company appointed him their resident agent at Nelson, in succession to Captain Arthur Wakefield, killed in the so-called Wairau massacre [see under Wakefield, William Hayward]. Five years later Governor (Sir) George Grey [q. v. Suppl.] made him attorney-general for the south island of the colony; but Fox, who had thrown himself into the agitation for self-government, then at its height, resigned his post as a protest against the governor's dilatory action in the matter. The New Zealand Company then made him their principal agent in the colony, and the settlers of the central districts chose him to represent them on a mission to London to urge at Downing Street their demands for a constitution. The colonial office, however, refused to receive him, and he returned to New Zealand after travelling in the United States.

The first New Zealand parliament met in 1854, the second in 1856. It was on 20 May of that year that Fox ousted the short-lived Sewell ministry [see Sewell, Henry] and first took office, only to be himself ejected thirteen days afterwards by Mr. (afterwards Sir Edward) Stafford. Five years later he turned the tables upon his opponent, and this time retained the premiership for thirteen months (1861-2), a period which curiously enough was almost precisely the duration of his third tenure of office (1863-4). In January 1869, after again defeating Mr. Stafford, he formed a ministry with the aid of (Sir) Julius Vogel [q. v. Suppl.], which lasted until September 1872. Beaten then by his old adversary he quickly had his revenge, but did not resume his position as head of his party except for five weeks in 1873. His voluntary resignation of the premiership in March 1873 ended his career as minister, for it was followed by his retirement from parliament; and though in 1879 he came back again to lead the conservatives against Sir George Grey, and carried a vote of no-confidence against Grey's ministry, he lost his own seat after the dissolution which ensued, and never again took part in politics. He did most useful work in 1880 as joint commissioner with Sir Francis Bell in settling the native land claims on the west coast of the north island in an equitable manner a work the unfair postponement of which had bred